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Del Tredici, Theofanidis, Bernstein / Spano, Et Al


Release Date: 10/25/2005 
Label:  Telarc   Catalog #: 80638   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  David Del TrediciChris TheofanidisLeonard Bernstein
Performer:  Hila PlitmannBrett PolegatoRichard ClementNancy Maultsby
Conductor:  Robert Spano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony OrchestraAtlanta Symphony Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


The 13 brief movements of Christopher Theofanidis' The Here and Now draw upon English translations of poems by Rumi, touching on a wide variety of subjects including romance, desire, spirituality, and music. But anyone familiar with Rumi's poetry will not be surprised that the persistent element, and unifying factor, is love. Theofanidis' musical settings range from meditative to ecstatic, with much colorful orchestral writing that in tone and timbre often resembles Samuel Barber. Even so, choral textures predominate (enriched by the Atlanta Symphony Chorus' warm, solid sound) along with some exquisitely written solo passages tenderly sung by Hila Pittman, Richard Clement, and Brett Polegato.
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Next is Leonard Bernstein's Lamentation, which interestingly sounds less sombre in this context than it usually does following the raucous scherzo of his "Jeremiah" Symphony. It's still serious stuff, but Nancy Maultsby's heartfelt singing, along with Robert Spano's urgent, flowing conducting, lend the music a rare sense of hopefulness.

Finally, David Del Tredici's highly enjoyable Paul Revere's Ride was composed in the wake of September 11th, and though a subtle undercurrent of patriotism runs through the score, there's nothing political or preachy about Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, meaning that the piece can be enjoyed strictly for its musical and dramatic qualities. As usual, Del Tredici throws a wide variety of musical styles into the mix, with all manner of clever instrumental effects, including an oft-used siren (sounding like a throwback to Antheil or Varése).

The music's conflation of classical, minimalist, and zany-modernist elements brings pleasant memories of the composer's earlier Alice in Wonderland works--"The Ride" section in particular, set to the tune of "Yankee Doodle", is big fun! However, Del Tredici is just as concerned with the more noble aspects of the tale, and his moving Epilogue makes for a satisfying conclusion. Hila Pittmann offers beautiful solo singing, while the Atlanta Symphony Chorus and Orchestra make splendid sounds under Robert Spano's lively and inspired direction. Telarc provides its usual top drawer recording, which sounds fabulous on stereo SACD.

--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Paul Revere's Ride by David Del Tredici
Performer:  Hila Plitmann (Soprano)
Conductor:  Robert Spano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,  Atlanta Symphony Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2005; New York City 
Language: English 
2. The Here and Now by Chris Theofanidis
Performer:  Brett Polegato (Baritone), Hila Plitmann (Soprano), Richard Clement (Tenor)
Conductor:  Robert Spano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,  Atlanta Symphony Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2005 
Language: English 
3. Symphony no 1 "Jeremiah": 3rd movement, Lamentation Serenade by Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  Nancy Maultsby (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Robert Spano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; USA 
Language: Hebrew 

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